Florence Sunday, but it was not reliable. Rosecrans' cavalry was within 50 miles of Savannah, on a scout. Heard of some forces crossing the Tennessee, down near Paris, but could not learn how many. Gunboats gone down there.
G. M. DODGE.
CORINTH, MISS., July 29, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel HENRY BINMORE, A. A. G., SIXTEENTH Army Corps:
COLONEL: I send what information I have gained from time to time from scouts who have been to Mobile, as it may be of service to the Government just now.
In rear of city, works stretch from Mobile River on the east to Dog River on the south; nearest point to city, 2 miles; they are all detached batteries except one or two on north approach, which are inclosed works of about 2 acres; in none of these works are there any heavy guns mounted, and they are not connected; they from two lines, and are said to be well-constructed batteries. On Mobile River, at the mouth of Francis Bayou or River, is a battery. This bayou sweeps round partly to rear of Mobile, and the fort commands that approach by water. Right in front of the city, and almost in it, are two iron-clad batteries, built on piles; said to be very fine ones; they are considered impregnable; they lie between the city and mouth of Dog River. Two hundred and FIFTY yards from these batteries commence two lines of piling, running down the bay for over a mile. Boats to approach the city have to come up between this piling and in face of the batteries. Down the bay are sand batteries, but not considered of much account until the main forts are reached. In addition to this, in the harbor, they have seven gunboats and rams, three iron-clad ram, not yet quite finished, the iron and wood sides being 6 feet through. One of the boys, an engineer, has been all over this boat lately, and he considers it a very large, strong, and well-clad boat; has powerful machinery, and is also mounting guns of English manufacture, I believe called the Brooke gun. I have a rough sketch of the place, with the batteries, but it being taken by the eye it cannot be relied upon. Every exertion is now being made to make Mobile strong, but the citizens all say if attacked it will be sure to fall, the natural strength of the place not being equal to many others. The fortifications are said to extend 20 miles in rear and south of the city. Demopolis, where Johnston is now taking stores to, is the terminus of the Selma and Meridian road, on the east side of Tombigbee River.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. DODGE.
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH A. C., Memphis, Tenn., July 29, 1863.
Brigadier-General ASBOTH, Columbus:
GENERAL: You will perceive by the inclosed copy of telegram that there is a prospect of collision between our forces and the enemy at or near Paris. You will direct your expeditionary column to move up as rapidly as possible and report to Colonel Hatch. Send an intelligent man across to inform Hatch. If with a written message, he must destroy it if captured. This movement is intended to give the impression
36 R R-VOL. XXIV, PT. III